BMW, Deutsche Telekom ask German government to halt Wi-Fi connected car proposal

BMW is part of a group of automakers that are pushing for 5G technologies like C-V2X for connected cars in Europe. (BMW)

Executives from German car manufacturer BMW and German operator Deutsche Telekom are asking the German government to take action against an EU connected car proposal, Reuters reports.

The European Parliament is considering a proposal from the European Commission that would see the Wi-Fi standard 802.11p become the primary connectivity standard for connected cars in Europe. The EC proposed using ITS-G5, which is based on the Wi-Fi standard 802.11p, to help unite the automotive industry moving forward.

The EC’s connected car Wi-Fi proposal has drawn widespread criticism from mobile industry and technology groups, which have argued that adopting an older Wi-Fi standard would hamper 5G investments in Europe and could prevent technologies like cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) from being deployed across Europe.

The European Parliament’s committee on transportation and tourism rejected the proposal earlier this month, recommending that the EU adopt a technology-neutral proposal that could accommodate 5G and other advanced communications technologies in the future.

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But the automotive sector appears to be split on the issue. Carmakers Volkswagen and Renault are backing the Wi-Fi proposal, while BMW, Ford, PSA and Daimler have pushed for 5G.

In a recent letter sent to German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer, BMW CEO Harald Krueger and Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges said that adopting a standard that does not include 5G will see Europe fall behind other regions in vehicle connectivity.

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“We are convinced that mandating Wi-Fi technology will cause significant delay to the European rollout of car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication,” the letter said, according to Reuters.

The European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal this week.